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Webinar Archives

Past Webinars

IllinoisCivics.org is committed to providing educators throughout the Land of Lincoln with timely professional development to support educators with the implementation of the civics course requirements in middle and high schools.

Listed below are recordings of past webinars. Access upcoming events on the Professional Development Calendar.

What different perspectives are there on how our geographic, social, economic, and political landscape changed over time and on the benefits and costs of those changes? Examining Redlining and its Impacts with the Chicago History Museum

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and the Chicago History Museum to explore how classroom inquiry around redlining can be used to help students examine how to take issues to informed action. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with Illinois Social Science standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 2- Our Changing Landscape.


How Can We Ensure Our Sources of Information About Contemporary Debates and Possibilities are Accurate and Fair? with the Stanford History Education Group

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and Dr. Joel Breakstone, Director of the Stanford History Education Group SHEG, for an informative webinar on how to combat misinformation with research-based strategies that teach students across the curriculum how to evaluate information that affects them, their communities, and the world. Learn how to weave the SHEG resources into your current practice to prepare students for college, career, and civic life.


SCOTUS Update with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn

Join Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at the UIC School of Law for a recap of this 20-21 SCOTUS term. Walk away with ideas and resources to enhance your classroom practice aligned with the 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.


How does the Constitution change formally and informally? with the ABA Division for Public Education

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and the American Bar Association Division for Public Education as we explore the role of the amendments, both formal and informal, to make a more perfect union. Get connected with free resources and strategies to enhance your current practice aligned with the Illinois Civics course requirements for grades 6-8 and 9-12 and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 5- Institutional & Social Transformation.


Using Essential and Supporting Questions in Curriculum Design- Illinois Civics Hub

At the heart of inquiry, is the use of essential and supporting questions in curriculum design. Prepare for your summer curriculum project with strategies and resources to enhance your practice in facilitating student-centered inquiry across the social sciences. Walk away with ideas and FREE resources aligned to the Pedagogy Companion of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap


Civics in Real Life- Lou Frey Institute

Some of the most difficult topics for educators to address in the classroom are current events. How do we approach current events in a way that connects to our content while also allowing opportunities for both discussion and engagement? This webinar will share virtual resources that can be used to address current events from a civics lens. The Lou Frey Institute will discuss its Civics in Real Life series, a weekly series that uses civics concepts to explore current events in a one-page, student-friendly, image-rich text. This includes hyperlinks to related content and a closing activity that encourages reflection and engagement. The webinar session will discuss ways in which this resource can be integrated into both face-to-face and virtual instruction while also discussing the use of the free Civics360 content platform as a means of building foundational knowledge through a virtual resource.


Honoring AAPI Heritage: Reflecting on History to Inform Action

In this webinar, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on AAPI History and discuss the recent rise in hate crimes against the Asian American community and explore opportunities for students to take informed action. Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director of the Fred Korematsu Institute will provide a historical grounding for our conversation and will then transition into a webinar with invited guests to explore recent current events and legislation that would require Asian American history in Illinois. This webinar is aligned to Theme 1- “Civics Participation” and Theme 3- “We the People” from the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap found at https://www.educatingforamericandemocracy.org/the-roadmap/7themes/

Invited guests include: Grace Pai, Director of Organizing, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Senator Ram Villivalam, co-sponsor of HB0376 Jay Mehta, Teacher, Wheaton North High School


A User’s Guide to Democracy With Hannah and Nick from Civics 101 Podcast

Join Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy, host and executive producers of the Civics 101 podcast for a discussion of their book, “A User’s Guide to Democracy.” Learn about what inspired them to write the book, lessons learned about our constitutional republic and how to address common misconceptions about our republic. Walk away with ideas and resources to enhance your classroom. Participants need not read the book prior to attending the session.


An Introduction to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap

Join the IllinoisCivics.org team for an overview of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, a cross-ideological effort to strengthen civic and history education for all K-12 students. Learn more about hte national landscape of civics education and how the EAD Framework, pedagogy guide and aligned resources can strengthen K-12 civics and history instruction in your district.


How Congress Works- The National Archives Foundation

Join Dr. Charles Flanagan, Outreach Supervisor for the Center for the Legislative Archives, to engage with resources that have students collaborate to complete an oversized board game/flowchart in a lesson illustrating the process of how a bill becomes a law, and analyze historic congressional documents to identify what happens at each step along the way.


Digital Well-Being and Citizenship

In 2019, Antioch Community High School (ACHS) embarked on a journey to incorporate digital well-being and citizenship practices and spread them to staff and students. With goals of taking a positive perspective, promoting human interaction, and incorporating student voice and decision making, #ACHSDigiCit was born. This webinar will explain how ACHS approached school climate through this process and will highlight some of the activities used to promote positive human interactions through digital formats and support a sense of belonging for students and staff alike.


Is it Time to Reset the System of Checks and Balances?

Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at the UIC John Marshall Law School, explores this question to preview his upcoming book on the separation of powers.


Civics Across the Curriculum: Kick-Off Panel Discussion

Explore the intersections of civic learning, vision and leadership, and school climate for our work.


Processing the 2020 Election

Dr. Shawn Healy, Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Catherine Hawke from the Division of Public Education for the American Bar Associate and the Illinois Civics Instructional coaches analyze the “knowns” and “unknowns” one day after the 2020 election, what the exit polls tell us about who voted, and possible court litigation surrounding the elections. Strategies for classroom use were shared.


Local Journalism and the Citizens’ Agenda

Reporters from WBEZ discuss how they approach covering local elections, combating “fake news”, and engaging communities in setting policy coverage in the Citizens’ Agenda initiative.


The Electoral College: Is There a Better Way?

Explore Electoral College history, workings, and calls for reform. Get connected with free classroom resources aligned to the Illinois civics course requirements to teach about the Electoral College in your classroom.


IllinoisCivics.org Book Club: Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein

The IllinoisCivics.org Civics Instructional Coaches discuss the impact of polarization both in society and in the classroom. Learn how educators are addressing the challenges and opportunities of partisanship during the 2020 election and beyond.

The Great Debates with the Museum of Broadcast Communications

Explore the museum’s online resources for teachers and students to explore different aspects of media coverage of presidential candidates, debates, and elections. The museum’s new online materials cover historical debates and candidates as well as provide guidance for how to help students navigate the interplay of media and candidates in this election cycle.


Engaging Student Voice When Teaching Remotely

Student-centered inquiry is at the core of emerging learning standards that span across the curriculum. New educational initiatives from the state of Illinois require students to explore topics including gender, orientation, race, religion, abilities, immigration, civil rights, and more. Learn research-based best practices in creating a safe environment for student participation in addressing the most essential questions facing our communities, in person, or at a distance.


Understanding How the Government Works: Judicial Review

Judicial review is the power of courts to decide the validity of acts of the legislative and executive branches of government. The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly mention judicial review, but it is a constitutional concept that shapes our republic. This webinar will explore the current application of judicial review and deliberations over this power of the courts. Participants will be connected to free resources to enhance their classroom practice aligned to the Illinois Social Science standards and civics mandate. This webinar features Steven D. Schwinn, professor of law at the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School, where he teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and human rights.


Understanding How the Government Works: Popular Sovereignty

In this election season, the constitutional concepts of popular sovereignty and constitutional republic are in clear view. Explore both of these concepts and current events that explore the initiative to expand the access of “we the people” to the ballot box. Participants will be connected to free resources aligned to the Illinois Social Science standards and civics mandate.


Understanding How the Government Works: Separation of Powers

Separation of powers and checks and balances are important concepts in our constitutional republic. In this webinar, participants explored the balance of power in both our state and federal governments and analyzed current examples of both constitutional concepts in action. Get connected to free resources aligned to the Illinois civics content standards and civics mandate for classroom use.


Understanding How the Government Works: Limited Government

Explore the constitutional concept of limited government and the tension between individual rights and the common good in our everyday lives. Get connected to free resources to enhance their current practice aligned to the Illinois Civics mandate.


Creating a Collaborative and Reflective Climate for Inquiry

Student-centered deliberations and inquiry are at the core of civic learning across the disciplines. Learn research-based best practices in creating a safe environment for student participation in addressing the most essential questions facing our communities. Walk away with free resources and tools to enhance your current practice aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap Pedagogy Companion, the Illinois 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements, SEL competencies, and the Illinois Social Science standards.


Making Thinking Visible

Do you want resources to help you know what students are thinking? Experience an inquiry utilizing metacognitive strategies from Harvard University’s Project Zero Visible Thinking Toolkit that can be used for both formative and summative assessment. Walk away with free, ready-to-use critical thinking protocols aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion. Appropriate for all grade levels.


Building Better Rubrics for Student Feedback

Standards implementation requires new thinking about how assessment can be used to support student growth. One of their key questions when building a curriculum based on the standards is “how will we give students and stakeholders meaningful feedback that goes beyond measurement but enhances learning?” Engage with resources, templates, and strategies to create rubrics for performance assessment tasks in social studies. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.


Using Performance Assessments in Social Studies

Standards implementation requires new thinking about assessment. One of the key questions when building a curriculum based on the standards is “how will we know students have learned it?” The current standards require students to engage in content, disciplinary literacy practices, and inquiry. Educators have identified the need to create assessments where students can demonstrate competency in these areas. This workshop will introduce educators to strategies to build classroom performance assessment tasks aligned to standards where students get opportunities to demonstrate what they are learning. Educators will walk away resources, tools, templates, and strategies to create their own classroom performance assessment tasks aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion


What is Constitutional Democracy? with iCivics

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and our Civics Learning Partners at iCivics for a webinar that shares both strategies and resources to help classrooms explore, What is Constitutional Democracy? Walk away with ideas aligned to the proven practices of civic education embedded in the Illinois 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.


Let’s Build an Inquiry!

Inquiry design is at the heart of the Illinois K-12 Social Science standards. Experience resources to build your own classroom inquiry lessons. Walk away with ideas and resources aligned to both the Illinois Social Science standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.


Voting Rights, Election Laws, and the Courts

Join Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, professor of law at UIC-John Marshall Law School, for an overview of current issues related to voting and elections pending in the court system. Get connected to resources about voting rights and election reform to discuss in your classroom to support #CivicsInTheMiddle


Civics Across the Curriculum: Schoolwide Commitment to Civic Learning

This webinar will provide a brief overview of how Grayslake Central High School embeds civic learning into social studies, math, and life fitness courses.  A panel discussion with various departments will follow with specific examples of what they are doing in learning areas across their school.  


Lessons Learned from the 2020 Election

Join Dr. Shawn Healy, Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy at iCivics for a reflection on the lessons learned from the 2020 Election. What worked? What opportunities are there for reform? Walk away with resources and strategies from the IllinoisCivics.org Instructional Coaches aligned to the civics course requirements to bring issues to life in your remote, hybrid, or traditional classroom.


Civics Across the Curriculum: L.E.A.D. with Service Learning

Learn about approaches to service-learning that allow students to take the L.E.A.D. (Learn, Engage & Explore, Authentic Action, Demonstrate Learning). Collaborate with your DSN colleagues who are participating in the IllinoisCivics.org Service Learning Facilitator Initiative and earning their micro-credentials in service-learning through designing and facilitating cross-curricular opportunities for informed action.


The Redistricting Game

Join Liliana Scales the Advocacy Director at CHANGE Illinois for a look at what to expect from the new Illinois General Assembly in regards to redistricting based on the 2020 census. Gain a historical perspective of redistricting and gerrymandering, debates over the new Illinois map, and calls for reform. Walk away with resources and strategies from the IllinoisCivics.org Instructional Coaches aligned to the civics course requirements to bring issues to life in your remote, hybrid, or traditional classroom.


The State of the State

Join reporters from WBEZ as they preview what to look for from Springfield in the upcoming year and the big stories to follow with your students that explore issues relating to federalism, representation, and power.


Understanding How the Government Works: Federalism

Federalism is one of the basic principles of our U.S. Constitution but a complex concept to understand. When the Framers created the Constitution, they not only established a system of checks and balances to separate power within the government, they also divided authority between local, state, and national governments. Explore how federalism works and impacts our lives. Get connected with free resources aligned to the IL Social Science standards and civic mandates to enhance your own classroom practice.


Understanding the Illinois Civics Mandates

Unpack the Illinois Civics mandates for middle school and high school civics. Questions are answered about course content and implementation requirements. Explore a civics audit to analyze your current curriculum for compliance. Get connected with your regional civics instructional coach to help you prepare all students for college, career, and civic life.


Understanding the Proven Practice of Current and Controversial Issue Discussions

The new Illinois civic education requirements prescribe that students discuss current and controversial issues in the classroom. Learn research-based best practices in creating a safe environment for student participation in addressing the most essential questions facing our communities. Learn strategies to engage students in current and controversial issues discussion to enhance your current classroom practice. Explicit connections will be made to the Illinois Social Science Standards, Social Emotional Learning, the Common Core State Standards, and the Danielson Framework.


Understanding the Proven Practice of Simulations of Democratic Processes

The one-semester civic education requirement for Illinois prescribes that students engage in simulations of democratic processes to acquire and practice important disciplinary content, aptitudes, and habits. Get free resources that support both short and long-term gameplay, simulations of civic practices, and role-playing. Explicit connections will be made to the Illinois Social Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching.


Understanding the Proven Practice of Service Learning

The Illinois Social Science standards and Civics mandates provide a pathway for students to engage in informed action to address essential questions facing their community. Learn how to design and assess service learning projects. Get free resources to support the new civics requirement and standards implementation.


Teaching Civics through History with the National Archives

Explore how primary sources can be used to teach civics through history. Get connected with free materials to enhance your curriculum. This webinar features Dr. Charles Flanagan, Outreach Supervisor for the Center for Legislative Archives in the National Archives and Records Administration.


#CivicsInTheMiddle Book Club: Fault Lines in the Constitution

A discussion of Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights and the Flaws that Affect Us Today by Levinson and Levinson.


Culturally Responsive Teaching to Promote Anti-Racist Classrooms

What are the best practices that create an environment to engage students in courageous conversations around race, justice, equity, and progress? This webinar provides a brief literature review of culturally responsive pedagogy and explores practical steps educators can take to help students be upstanders to promote anti-racism.


A School-Wide Approach to Centering the Lived Experiences of Students

Democracy School leaders explore examples of schoolwide strategies that support belonging and inclusion and create conditions for educators to do the transformative work that is necessary to ensure that our schools can be places that center relationships.


How to Raise a Socially Conscious, Anti-Racist Kid

Facilitated by Amber Coleman-Mortley, Sonia Mathew, and Dr. Shawn Healy. The conversation centered around essential questions such as: What does it mean to be anti-racist? How do you raise a socially conscious child? These experts discussed why we need to better prepare our children to tackle the issues of racism, equity, and social justice how parents can go on their own anti-racism journey and what steps families can take to build stronger communities through anti-racist work.


Teaching Civics Through History: Lessons from the Holocaust

The Illinois Civics Mandate, newly expanded to include grades 6-8, provides ample opportunities to draw from the lessons of history to teach students how to be informed, engaged citizens. In this workshop, participants explored the systematic efforts undertaken in Nazi Germany to strip Jewish citizens of their civil, economic, and political rights. Examine how this methodical dehumanization exploited and deepened divisions in German society in the years prior to World War II, and consider what actions ordinary people took to resist—and what factors led others to remain bystanders. Explore how to bring the lessons of the past into the present. Where do we see opportunities today to get involved to protect rights that are being threatened, and what positive actions can students take to address the essential question, “What role do individuals and institutions play in confronting injustice?”

Creating Safe Inclusive Space for the LGBTQ+ History Requirement

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the state of Illinois will require public schools to teach the role and contributions of LGBTQ+ people in Illinois and US history. As educators, this presents an opportunity to incorporate new narratives and resources into our efforts to give the past meaning for our students. In this workshop, participants explored oral histories as essential tools in teaching the LGBTQ+ experience and develop strategies to help students develop both a historical and a human understanding of this complex history. Experience free resources and lesson plans that have students explore the essential question, “How should we live together?” Explicit connections will be made to the Illinois Social Science Standards and Civics requirements, Social Emotional Learning Competencies, and the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching.